European Social Survey


The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically-driven social survey designed to chart and explain the interaction between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations.  The Survey employs the most rigorous methodologies.  Seven rounds have taken place to date and over 30 countries have participated in at least one round and most of these are expected to take part in round eight.

The principal long-term aim of the project is to chart and explain the interaction between Europe’s changing institutions, its political and economic structures, and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour pat­terns of its diverse populations. But an equally important shorter-term aim is to develop and demonstrate an approach to the conduct of rigorous quantitative multinational social surveys in Europe, which matches that of the best national surveys in Europe and the USA. The data and other outputs are freely available to the research and policy communities throughout Europe and beyond via Now that the ESS biennial time-series has built survey upon survey, it is starting to provide a unique long term account of change and development in the social fabric of modern Europe. In addition, it will help to acti­vate re­search networks across Europe and the participation of young researchers in the sub­stance and methodology of rigorous com­parative research.

Through the ESFRI roadmap process the Irish Research Council identified the ESS as a priority infrastructure project for the Social Sciences, and to date has funded projects for Ireland’s participation, in previous rounds of the survey. The Irish Research Council now invites applications for a national coordinator to oversee and implement round eight of the survey.

The project is directed by a Core Scientific Team or Central Co-ordination Team (CCT) led by Rory Fitzgerald from the Centre for Comparative Social Surveys at City University London, UK.

The Irish Research Council Sciences invited applications for the appointment of a national coordinator to act as its agent for the supervision of round eight of the Ireland component of the European Social Survey. National coordinators, funded by national funding agencies, are being appointed in each participating country.

The coordinator for Ireland has been appointed by the Irish Research Council as its agent to supervise the data collection by the survey organisation, ensure that the ESS is carried out to a comparable standard, and liaise with the Central Coordinating Team (CCT) - see paragraph above, for further information.  The Co-ordinator is responsible to the Irish Research Council for the oversight of the Survey including the implementation of a rigorous, standardised set of procedures and methods to a pre-specified design and timetable. 

A national Call for Proposals was published by the Irish Research Council in spring 2016 recommending that Mary Immaculate College be appointed to the role of National Coordinator of ESS Round 8

 Further information about the ESS may be found at